Scottish Social Service Sector: Report on 2016 Workforce Data

14 Sep 2017

The Scottish Social Services Council (SSSC) today published Scottish Social Service Sector: Report on 2016 Workforce Data.

This is the ninth workforce data report published by the SSSC and the sixth which is a set of Official Statistics. The report combines administrative data from the Care Inspectorate with data collected by the SSSC directly from local authorities to form a comprehensive picture of the paid workforce employed in the social service sector in Scotland at the end of 2016.

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The SSSC was approved by the Scottish Parliament as an Official Statistics provider in 2012.

The report presents information on the number of people who work in the social service sector and a breakdown of the number of people working in all sub-sectors (ie the different types of social services) and across employer types (public, private, voluntary) within individual local authorities.

Key points

  • The size of the workforce has decreased to 200,650, a drop of 0.03% since 2015. The social service workforce makes up approximately 7.7% of all Scottish employment.
  • The whole time equivalent (WTE) measure of the workforce is 150,540, an increase of 0.15% since 2015.
  • The stability index of the workforce is 78.0%. This means just over three-quarters of the workforce remained in the same post since last year.
  • The largest employer type differs between local authority areas, with services in Orkney, Shetland and Na h-Eileanan Siar (the three island authorities) provided mainly by the public sector. However, in most areas the private sector is the largest employer.
  • The three largest sub-sectors are housing support/care at home, care homes for adults and day care of children; together, these account for almost 78% of the workforce.
  • The median age of the workforce is highest in the public sector (48) and lowest in the private sector (40). Early years workers in the private sector have the lowest median age (28).
  • The percentage of men working in the sector is 15%, though it is more than double this in criminal justice and residential child care services.
  • The workforce is predominantly employed on permanent contracts (81%).
  • The median figure for the typical weekly hours worked by staff is 32 and 51% of the workforce work full time (more than 30 hours per week).

A number of new features appear in this report. These are:

  • a new derived statistic, whole time equivalent (WTE), which gives the equivalent size of the workforce if every employee was doing a 37.5 hour week.
  • a new derived statistic, stability index, which gives the proportion of staff who have been retained from the previous year.
  • changes to time series tables and additional charts which give a longer term view of changes to the size of the workforce.

These new statistics were previously published as Experimental Statistics.

As an Official Statistics product, this publication complies with the Pre-Release Access to Official Statistics (Scotland) Order 2008. The list of people who have pre-release access can be found here.

Data Tables and Charts

The tables and charts in this report are available in Microsoft Excel (.xlsx) and OpenDocument Spreadsheet (.ods) format, plus all the report's data tables in non-proprietary Comma Separated Values (CSV) format. The CSV files are provided together in a compressed ZIP file. The provision of the data in these formats is intended to facilitate its analysis and re-use.

Description File type File size (KB)  
All tables .xlsx 53.5 Download
All tables .ods 31.1 Download
All tables (compressed CSV files) .zip 17.6 Download
All charts (compressed) .zip 781.1 Download

Also available for download is the blank survey template used by local authority social work survey respondents to submit their data for December 2016. The explore the data section of the website has been updated with the 2016 data.

More detailed tables giving a breakdown of the number of people working in all sub-sectors and employer types within individual local authority areas can be found in our detailed data section.